|Premiere:||3rd September 1992|
|Place of premiere:||
Theater an der Wien
|Roles / people|
Elisabeth is a drama musical by Michael Kunze ( libretto ) and Sylvester Levay (music). Produced by the Vereinigte Bühnen Wien , it premiered on September 3, 1992 in the Theater an der Wien . It tells the life story of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth as a dance of death .
The action begins about a hundred years after Empress Elisabeth's death in the realm of the dead and dreamers. Elisabeth's murderer Luigi Lucheni has to justify his act night after night before an invisible judge. He explains that he is not to blame, because death incited him to do so, and that out of love. He conjures up the sunken world of the Habsburg Empire again to substantiate his claim. Elisabeth appears as a 15-year-old girl who prefers to practice circus tricks instead of visiting relatives with her mother Ludovika and sister Helene . Elisabeth falls and meets death for the first time. Both feel a strong mutual fascination. In Bad Ischl , Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria falls in love with Elisabeth instead of, as planned by his mothers, her older sister Helene . For Elisabeth, a new life begins with the wedding, at which death expresses both his disappointment and his certainty of victory. She is constantly guarded, educated and trained by her mother-in-law Archduchess Sophie and her court ladies. She realizes that she has lost her freedom and decides to defend herself. Death meets her again when he takes her first daughter Sophie with him. Even when the long-awaited heir to the throne Rudolf was born, Elisabeth's position at court did not improve. As with the other children, Sophie takes over Rudolf's upbringing. When Elisabeth found out about the nature of the upbringing, she gave Franz-Joseph an ultimatum: she would like to decide on the upbringing of her children or she would not return to him. Meanwhile, the people turn increasingly against the empress, because she bathes in milk that the people no longer get. Lucheni stirs them up. Franz-Joseph has decided to accept her ultimatum and submits his decision to her. But it is clear to death that this new bond will not last.
Elisabeth's concern for the Hungarian cause resulted in a settlement with Hungary and the coronation of Franz-Joseph and Elisabeth as King and Queen of Hungary. Lucheni praises the audience “Kitsch!” About the new royal couple. In addition, Lucheni shows the compensation as the beginning of the end of the Habsburg Empire. Elisabeth seems to be at the height of her triumph and meets death again, which draws her attention to the fact that she is still a prisoner of the court and only he can free her.
Death finds a willing listener in her little son Rudolf, who often feels lonely. Archduchess Sophie, on the other hand, sees her influence on Elisabeth's son waning and seeks to reduce her influence on him. To this end, she instructs Count Grünne to hire a prostitute in Madame Wolf's salon , who shows the emperor that there is not only one woman in the world. The count, however, selects exactly those who suffer from the French disease ( syphilis ).
When Elisabeth falls ill, Death confronts her in the form of a doctor and lets her know that her husband was unfaithful to her and infected her with this venereal disease. However, he does not achieve that she turns to him out of desperation; Rather, she sees the possibility of breaking free from her husband.
While she travels, her husband remains worried at court in Vienna. Meanwhile her son Rudolf grows up to be a grown man who despairs of his father. He is also unhappily married and supports the Hungarians. He is caught at a conspiratorial meeting. The father rages. He sees his only salvation in the fact that Elisabeth stands up for him with the emperor. She clearly rejects that; she would not have freed herself and then put herself back into the constraints of the court. He only finds refuge in death, which he has known from childhood. He only sees one way out.
After Rudolf's suicide, Elisabeth is plagued by feelings of guilt. She realizes that she has gone a step too far in her self-liberation. She has nothing in common with Franz-Joseph either. She had already finished her life when Death presented Lucheni with the triangular file with which he was to kill Elisabeth. The emperor, seeing this as a nightmare, still loves her and finally visits her one last time. She rejects him again. After Lucheni's successful assassination attempt, death approaches Elisabeth, hugs her, gives her the kiss of death and leads her into his kingdom. So he finally achieved what he wanted; Elisabeth is his and theirs is eternity. Lucheni commits suicide while in custody.
Sequence of scenes and songs
- Like you
- Nice to see you all
No coming without going (Útvesztő minden út)
In the Hungarian production from 1996, as well as in the Vienna anniversary version 2012 (Raimund Theater) (replaces Black Prince ), was included in the follow-up productions.
Rondo of Love and Death (Ai To Shi No Rondo)
Included in the Japanese versions of Takarazuka and Toho since 1996. The melody is identical to that of the Hungarian song Útvesztő minden út, but there are differences in the text and in the interpretation.
Wie Du (recapitulation)
In the first version, in the Hungarian and the Swedish version. For the Dutch version, this part was rewritten as the song Schwarzer Prinz (text change) and kept in this version in subsequent productions until 2012. It has now been brought together in German-language productions since Vienna 2012 with Kein Kommen ohne Gehn.
- He gives everyone their own
- The way you plan and think ...
- Nothing is difficult
- All questions are asked
- It doesn't fit
- The last Dance
- An empress has to shine
- I only belong to me
- Stations of a marriage
- The shadows grow longer
- The happy apocalypse
Kind or not
For the first time in the German production 2001, it was included in the follow-up productions.
- Elisabeth, open up my angel
- Beauty care / Our empress should weigh herself
- I just want to tell you / I belong only to me (recapitulation) / Finale 1st act
Not implemented in the productions in Scheveningen, Essen and Stuttgart.
When I want to dance
Written for the German production in 2001, was incorporated into most of the follow-up productions.
- Mum where are you?
- She is crazy
Nothing, nothing, nothing at all
In the first performance just a verse with a dance sequence, but was soon rewritten. The so-called madhouse ballad was adopted in all productions, but was often inserted at different points in the second act.
- Us or them
- Just don't be embarrassed
- The Last Chance (The Maladie)
Between dream and reality
Only during the first season of the Japanese Toho production in 2000. A German version of the song can be heard on the Stuttgart Cast CD.
- " Is that now my reward / An empress has to shine (recapitulation)
Was first included in the Hungarian and Japanese premieres (both 1996) and carried over to subsequent productions.
Here follows the madhouse scene in the Japanese Takarazuka productions She is crazy . Note: In the Stuttgart and Essen production, this was followed by the argument and hatred .
Only in the premiere version, the Hungarian and Swedish production and in the premiere in Vienna.
- The shadows grow longer (recapitulation)
Only in the productions in Scheveningen (Netherlands), Essen & Stuttgart (Germany) as well as Hungary and Japan. Note: In the Stuttgart and Essen production, the Wie du (recapitulation) followed .
- Dispute between father and son in Essen, Berlin and Vienna (but not in the original version)
Not in the Japanese Takarazuka productions
Like you (reprise)
Not in the Japanese Takarazuka productions
- If i were your mirror
- Mayerling waltz
- My new range
- Boats in the night
- On the deck of the sinking world / All questions are asked (recapitulation)
- The veil falls
- Future Souls (only on the 10th Anniversary CD and never integrated into a piece)
Elisabeth was premiered on September 3, 1992 and was then on the performance schedule until April 25, 1998 in the Theater an der Wien under the direction of Harry Kupfer . From October 3, 2003 to December 4, 2005, the musical was resumed in Vienna. Since the premiere there have been numerous international productions in Japan , Hungary , the Netherlands (1999-2001), Sweden (1999-2000), Italy (2004, 2005), Finland (2005-2006), Switzerland (2006, 2008 –2009) and Belgium (2009). From September 5, 2012 to February 1, 2014 the musical was played again in Vienna in the Raimund Theater , from March 2013 for the first time with English surtitles . Up until February 1, 2014, the piece had been played 2181 times in Vienna. The German tour production was voted “Best Tour Musical” in the 2014 Musical1.de musical elections.
|Elisabeth Austria||First cast Vienna (1992)||First cast Vienna (2003)||First cast Vienna (2012)||Premiere cast Vienna (2019)|
|Empress Elisabeth of Austria||Pia Douwes||Maya Hakvoort||Annemieke van Dam||Pia Douwes|
|The death||Uwe Kroeger||Máté Kamarás||Mark Seibert|
|Luigi Lucheni||Ethan Freeman||Serkan Kaya||Kurosh Abbasi||David Jakobs|
|Emperor Franz Joseph I.||Viktor Gernot||André Bauer||Franziskus Hartenstein||Viktor Gernot|
|Archduchess Sophie||Else Ludwig||Daniela Ziegler|
|Archduke Rudolf||Andreas Bieber||Jesper Tydén||Anton Zetterholm||Lukas Perman|
|Duke Max in Bavaria||Wolfgang Pampel||Dennis Kozeluh||Christian Peter Hauser||Hans Neblung|
|Duchess Ludovika||Christa Wettstein||Susanna Panzner||Carin Filipčić||Patricia Nessy|
- Essen , Colosseum Theater : March 22, 2001 to June 29, 2003
- Stuttgart , Apollo Theater : March 6, 2005 to September 17, 2006
- Berlin , Theater des Westens : April 20, 2008 to September 27, 2008
- Tour I ( Munich , Frankfurt , Bremen , Bregenz , Düsseldorf ): October 21, 2009 to April 25, 2010
- Tour II ( Cologne , Frankfurt , Munich , Basel , Essen , Bremen , Chemnitz , Erfurt , Leipzig , Dresden , Trieste ): October 11, 2011 to May 6, 2012
- Tour III ( Essen , Munich , Linz , Frankfurt , Berlin , Hamburg ): February 25, 2015 to March 27, 2016
|Elisabeth Germany||Premiere cast Essen (2001)||Premiere cast Stuttgart (2005)||Premiere cast Berlin (2008)||Premiere cast 1st tour (2009)||Premiere cast 2nd tour (2011)||Premiere cast 3rd tour (2015)|
|Empress Elisabeth||Pia Douwes||Maike Boerdam||Pia Douwes||Annemieke van Dam||Roberta Valentini|
|The death||Uwe Kroeger||Olegg Vynnyk||Uwe Kroeger||Oliver Arno||Mark Seibert|
|Luigi Lucheni||Carsten Lepper||Bruno Grassini||Kurosh Abbasi|
|Emperor Franz Joseph I.||Michael Shawn Lewis||Ivar Helgasson||Markus Pol||Mathias Edenborn||Maximilian Mann|
|Archduchess Sophie||Gabriele Ramm||Susan Rigvava-Dumas||Christa Wettstein||Betty Vermeulen||Angelika Wedekind|
|Archduke Rudolf||Jesper Tydén||Martin Pasching||Oliver Arno||Thomas Hohler||Oliver Arno||Thomas Hohler|
|Duke Max in Bavaria||Claus Dam||Michael Flöth||Norbert Lamla||Thomas Bayer||Dennis Kozeluh|
|Duchess Ludovika||Annika Bruhns||Kaatje Dierks||Maike Katrin Schmidt||Susanna Panzner||Elissa Huber||Caroline Summers|
- Austria : Bregenz , Linz
- Japan : Tokyo , Osaka , Nagoya , Fukuoka
- Hungary : Budapest , Szeged , Györ
- Sweden : Karlstad
- Netherlands : Scheveningen , Apeldoorn , Baarn
- Italy : Trieste
- Finland : Turku
- Switzerland : Thun , Zurich , Basel
- Belgium : Antwerp
- South Korea : Seoul , Daejeon , Changwon , Daegu , Jeonju , Gwangju , Busan
- People's Republic of China : Shanghai : Shanghai Culture Square Theater (in German)
- Czech Republic : Pilsen
The only official German-language DVD (in picture format 4: 3, full screen) was produced in December 2005 on the occasion of the Dernière of the Viennese production in a limited edition. Playing: Maya Hakvoort (Elisabeth), Máté Kamarás (Death), Serkan Kaya (Lucheni), André Bauer (Emperor Franz Joseph), Fritz Schmid (Crown Prince Rudolf) and Else Ludwig (Archduchess Sophie). Since November 16, 2006 there has also been a collector's edition (in 16: 9 aspect ratio, widescreen) with an additional DVD containing 22-minute documentation and photos. A 3-DVD version with the same cast has also been released. There are also various recordings of the Japanese Takarazuka versions and unofficial recordings from the Dutch Scheveningen production and the world premiere in Vienna in 1992.
German-language CD recordings
- 1992 Maxi CD: "The shadows are getting longer"
- 1992 Cast album for world premiere in the Theater an der Wien
- 1992 single: "I belong to me"
- 1996 Complete recording live from the Theater an der Wien with Maya Hakvoort , Bruno Grassini and Addo Kruizinga
- 1997 Studio Cast Album, no information, not part of the Viennese production
- 2001 promotion album for the German premiere again with Pia Douwes and Uwe Kröger in the main roles and Addo Kruizinga as Rudolf
- 2001 Cast album for the German premiere with Pia Douwes and Uwe Kröger
- 2001 single: "I belong only to me"
- 2002 Live Cast Album for the 10th anniversary
- 2003 Maxi CD: "New Tracks, New Stars"
- 2004 Cast album for a new production in Vienna with Maya Hakvoort and Máté Kamarás
- 2005 Complete recording of the new staging in Vienna with Maya Hakvoort and Máté Kamarás
- 2005 Cast album for the Stuttgart premiere with Maike Boerdam , Karin Seyfried and Olegg Vynnyk
- 2005 Studio Cast Album with Annika Bruhns and Paul Kribbe , not part of any production
- 2008 album for the Berlin production: “The Last Dance” with Felix Martin , Annemieke van Dam and Oliver Arno
- 2012 Live album for the anniversary tour 2011/2012 with Annemieke van Dam , Mark Seibert and Kurosch Abbasi
- 2012 Complete recording from the Raimund Theater in Vienna on the occasion of the 20th anniversary with Annemieke van Dam , Mark Seibert and Kurosch Abbasi
- 2019 Complete recording of the concert version live in front of Schönbrunn Palace with Pia Douwes , Mark Seibert and David Jakobs
Sometimes Elisabeth titles are on the CDs: Best of Musical Vol.1, Best of Musical Vol.2, Musical Stars, Musical Diva, Musicalcocktail, Favorites, Only the best, In love with Musical, Elisabeth - Music of an Epoch, Empress Elisabeth Melodies, The fascinating world of musicals, Boulevard of Desires, Peter Weck presents, The Shades of Night, Musical Musical, Alles Musical Vol.1, Music of the Night, The fantastic world of musicals - The highlights of the German original recordings, Alles Musical Vol.2 , Musical Moments, Arena der Stars, Musical Moments 2, The greatest musical hits, Only the best - the most beautiful musical hits, The best of 20 years, Musical the show, Musical Forever, WIEN musical concert, and many more.
- Birgit Rommel: The “Black Seagull” becomes “Elisabeth”. Creation and staging history of the musical about the Empress of Austria . Diplomica Verlag , Hamburg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8366-5417-3 .